I'm sure I'm not alone in struggling to find the perfect hiking shorts. Common problems for me are that most are too heavy & cumbersome, have poor pocket design, have poor waist design, are too long or too short, fit badly, are uncomfortable or make you look like a German tourist. I had struggled for many years to find anything approaching a good pair. Key features in my quest were that they must be lightweight but durable, pack small, have good easy access pockets (and in particular have a leg pocket that can accommodate an OS map), dry quickly when wet, have a good fit (not be too tight on the thighs when walking), be a good length (just touching the knee caps when stood) and look reasonably OK. These shorts tick all the boxes for me. Allow me to explain.
|TNF Meridian Shorts|
The Meridians are nice and light (190g) and the fabric is a perfect mix of durability, texture and 'airiness' which results in a pair of shorts that you can wear all day without noticing them. They claim to be quick drying and I can reliably confirm this quality. Last year, after a hot and sweaty hike up Loughrigg Fell, the cool clear water of Grasmere was just too tempting and I waded in for a quick swim. By the time I had walked back to Grasmere village, the shorts (although not my underwear) were bone dry.
|The Map Test|
Pockets are just right; 2 normal open front pockets with a tough mesh lining for breathability and 2 good sized thigh pockets with velcro closure and a handy cord loop for quick opening. These thigh pockets can hold an OS map although you wont be able to close them - no big deal. The single right rear pocket is zip closed for security and doubles as a Stow Pocket. There is also a further internal security pocket. Just enough functional pocket space without looking like a scout leader.
I bought my first pair of these about 4 years ago, much to the despair of my wife who though I was just adding more flotsam to my increasing pile of 'redundant' shorts. Not so. After 12 months of wear I realized that I had at last found my perfect shorts and bought another 2 pairs online.
|'The Shorts' in action on Helm Crag|
I use these shorts on an almost daily basis at home and for nearly all of my 3 season hikes. Suffice to say, that between the 3 pairs, they have had considerable use over the past few years. They remain as good as new and I anticipate many more years of use.
I would be interested to hear any other suggestions for the perfect shorts (just in case TNF stop making them - perish the thought!).
No offence meant to German tourists or Scout leaders by the way ;))
RRP £45 but ive seen them as cheap as £25 on line.
|The official photo - Also in Green|
|Packed into its own pocket|